by Dietrich “Deech” Kirk
When I was younger, I sometimes got confused about who was in charge of the church. I seemed to be the only one who knew the church had problems, and if a few others knew, well, I knew how to solve the problem. It was a lot like going through adolescence with my parents.
One of our jobs as youth ministers is to support our pastor. He or she may not be Rob Bell or Adam Hamilton (and if we worked for them, they would have issues, too), but it does not matter. God and the Body of Christ have placed him or her at the head of your church, not you. Here are some simple ways to support your pastor:
If you don’t pray for your pastor daily, I have to ask “why not?” She is in a position of great influence and responsibility. Pray for her to have a discerning heart, a vision for the future, and strength to lead. Pray for her family, for her spouse, and children. Pray for her the way you hope she prays for you!
As a staff member, you will be asked what you think about the pastor regularly. Will you lift him up or tear him down? Save your criticism for the safety of your covenant group or spouse. When you are with the congregation, your job is to lift up the pastor, to help him see strengths he may not see, and to support his vision for the church. If you do not, then you need to consider whether you can work for that person.
Get to know your pastor. Ask questions about her life, family, etc. Don’t only talk to her about work. Very few people treat pastors like they are people with lives outside of the church. You know how that feels, so take the time to care.
There are countless reasons for you to communicate what is going on in the youth ministry to your pastor. The most important is that, ultimately, he or she is responsible for the youth ministry. (Really?) Yes, really. Where does the congregation go if they have issues with you? You got it.
So, part of supporting your pastor is keeping him or her in the loop with what is happening in the youth ministry. I recommend that at least once a month you go to lunch one-on-one with your pastor to get to know each other better and to keep him or her informed.
If you support them, then, they should support you, too. Thanks to Mark Matheny, Jim Glass, David Comperry, James King, Howard Olds, Cliff Wright, Martin Theilen, and, now, Davis Chappell, for supporting me.
How do you view your role as it relates to your pastor? Share your ideas on other ways we can support our pastors!
CYMT is excited about its newest endeavor, Theology Together. Theology Together educates both teenagers and youth workers as they engage in theological reflection, spiritual practice, vital service, and vocational discernment. The Theology Together process produces reflective action that is embedded in the fabric of youth ministry in all of its contexts. We believe strongly that youth are theologians and belong at the center of tough, life-changing dialogue around faith, relationships, and life. We place teenagers in the driver seat alongside their youth pastors and leaders, equipping each individual to think differently about youth ministry, to provoke a sense of awe and wonder: a WOW moment.
Youth theology is theology built upon the simple doctrinal principle of the priesthood of all believers, and takes that principle right down to its natural conclusion: that all believers, including youth, teens, adolescents, etc. are theologians. It is theology that values all youth as theologians. Here we will share with you how to engage with youth theology in your own ministry.
A few weeks ago, we shared the launch of Theology Together 2.0. Today, Dwight (the director of Theology Together) will be sharing with us one experience […]